Greene (1-0) allowed an unearned run and a walk in one inning but earned the win in Friday's extra-innings victory over the Red Sox. The run against Greene came on an Alex Verdugo sacrifice fly in the 11th inning. In the bottom of the 11th, Freddie Freeman hit a walkoff two-run homer to give Greene the win. It's the fourth time in his last six outings that Greene has allowed a run to score, although this one won't show up on his ERA, which stands at 2.70. He's added a 1.13 WHIP, nine holds and 21 strikeouts in 26.2 innings this season.
Greene walked one batter in a scoreless eighth inning during Wednesday's loss to the Yankees. The right-hander has been a dependable arm in the Atlanta bullpen to begin the season. Greene still has not allowed an earned run through eight appearances, and his 7:1 K:BB suggests that's not purely fueled by good luck. Despite his success, however, he hasn't seen a lot of high-leverage work -- Greene has only two holds so far, after recording 23 saves and 10 holds in a 2019 campaign split between Atlanta and Detroit.
Greene retired only two hitters while surrendering four runs on three hits and a walk in Monday's 6-4 exhibition loss to the Phililes. Manager Brian Snitker said early on in spring training that Greene could be a candidate to pick up saves this season, but Mark Melancon and Will Smith look like the clear top two options to close as Opening Day approaches. Greene has only hurt his case for seizing a late-inning role based on how he's fared so far this spring. Through three appearances in the Grapefruit League, Greene has been tagged for six runs (five earned) while giving up six hits and two walks over 2.2 innings.
Greene was one of three relievers manager Brian Snitker suggested he wouldn't hesitate to use as a closer this season, David O'Brien of The Athletic reports. The 31-year-old was lights-out as Detroit's closer in the first half last year, but he struggled in the role after being acquired by Atlanta and was quickly replaced by Mark Melancon in the ninth. Greene is also likely behind free-agent signee Will Smith in the pecking order, so while Snitker's vote of confidence to begin the spring is nice to see, Greene is a longshot to make a meaningful impact in the save category in 2020.
Greene lost his arbitration case against the Braves on Wednesday. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports. The 31-year-old will earn $6.25 million this season, compared to the $6.75 million he had requested. Greene struggled with Atlanta down the stretch after being named to the All-Star Game in 2019, logging a 4.01 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 21 strikeouts across 24.2 innings. The veteran will begin the 2020 season battling Will Smith, Luke Jackson and Chris Martin for save opportunities as the Braves closer.